Microsoft – 2010 is Going to be Huge!!!

The start of a new year often includes a retrospective on the previous year and resolutions for the new year. I’ve been spending some time the first week of 2010 doing just that – but from a Microsoft technology perspective. While 2009 was a challenging year for many, it was also an exciting year if you dabble in Microsoft technologies. The product releases and announcements in 2009 set the stage for what is sure to be a monumental 2010.

The biggest Microsoft product release in 2009 was probably Windows 7. Windows 7 provides so many sensational new features, for both consumers and developers. It is a much faster, cleaner, and more intuitive operating system than any of its predecessors. For developers, there are some very exciting features that you can take advantage of to build great applications. Personally, I think it will be a lot of fun to experiment with the built in touch API in Windows 7. To learn more about developing for Windows 7, I would encourage you to check out the Windows 7 Developer Guide and Scott Hanselman’s Top 10 Tips Working Developers Should Know About Windows 7. Also, on this blog you can read my colleague Dan Souk’s thoughts on Windows 7.

The beta and CTP product releases in 2009 set a great stage for the full product releases in 2010. 2009 saw beta and/or CTP releases for Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4, SharePoint 2010, Office 2010, Windows Azure, and SQL Azure – just to name a few. Take a few minutes to take that list in. Nearly every major tool or platform you use is getting an update in 2010. Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 will provide developers with some impressive new tools. The new parallel extensions in .NET 4 are really going to allow developers to take advantage of the new multi-core CPUs available today. Additionally, SharePoint 2010 continues to build on an already great platform. Developing SharePoint 2010 apps with Visual Studio 2010 continues to improve the SharePoint developer story. I would encourage you to read what my colleague Michael Ren thinks about many appealing new development features in SharePoint 2010. Also, I’m very passionateabout Windows Azure and SQL Azure. The Azure Platform is Microsoft’s cloud computing offering. I’ve been working with Windows Azure since its CTP release at PDC 2008. I’m very excited about the way Microsoft has progressed the Azure platform. With commercial availability starting in January 2010, it’s a very exciting time to be investing in Azure. The Azure Platform, and cloud computing in general, are going to be game changers in 2010. Many of my colleagues at Centric are very excited about cloud computing. Cloud computing is an area we plan to make a concentrated investment in for 2010.

As you can see, 2010 is shaping up to be a very exciting year for Microsoft technologies. I would encourage you to download the beta and/or CTP bits of any of the technologies you would be interested in. Microsoft often provides free ready-to-go Virtual PC images of many of these technologies. It’s a great way to get a head start on learning about what is sure to be hot in 2010.